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Military

Iran Press TV

FARC begins 30-day unilateral ceasefire

Iran Press TV

Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:39PM GMT

Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) has begun a 30-day unilateral ceasefire as peace talks continue with the government.

On Sunday, Colombia's main rebel group began the ceasefire, it had announced earlier this month.

On December 8, the FARC had asked its units to 'cease fire and hostilities for 30 days' from December 15 in a message from the Cuban capital Havana where the FARC and Bogota are in talks to end their decades-long conflict.

The statement also urged the government of President Juan Manuel Santos to 'respond to this gesture by suspending operations.'

The government, however, has rejected the decision, saying the idea of any ceasefire will not be considered until a peace deal has been signed.

On October 7, a day before the announcement by the FARC, one police officer and three civilians were killed when an explosive-laden vehicle went off near a police station in the small town of Inza in Columbia's Cauca province.

The FARC was held responsible for the incident.

In May, the government and FARC agreed upon how to approach land reform and rural development, which was the first and the most controversial item on the agenda.

Talks between the two sides kicked off in Cuba's capital, Havana, in November 2012. Norway and Cuba are guarantors of the talks.

FARC is Latin America's oldest insurgent group and has been fighting the government since 1964.

Bogota estimates that 600,000 people have been killed and some three million others have been internally displaced due to the fighting.

The rebel organization is thought to have around 8,000 fighters operating across a large swathe of the eastern jungles of the country.

IA/HN/AS



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